Miami 2017

Mar 5, 2017

Expanded water taxi service, park & ride shuttles ensured smooth traffic flow on Rickenbacker Causeway as boat show boosts local tourism, economy

Event returning to Miami Marine Stadium, February 15-19, 2018

In its second year at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, the 2017 Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show® delivered a successful five-day event, welcoming attendees with new amenities, an expanded in-water display and enhanced transportation options.

Fully settled into its new venue, the boat show once again shined over Presidents Day Weekend against the backdrop of Biscayne Bay and Miami’s skyline. As expected, approximately 100,000 attendees, from an estimated 30-35 countries around the globe, came out to experience the event, providing a direct boost to the local tourism industry in the process. Following a strong 2016 performance, with an estimated $3 billion in product on display this year, exhibitors once again experienced brisk sales as attendees demonstrated a willingness to buy everything from fishing equipment to new yachts. Initial data indicate the 2017 Boat Show will meet or exceed its nearly $600 million economic impact and again directly support more than 6,500 full-time jobs.

“With learnings from our inaugural event at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin last year, the 2017 edition of the Miami International Boat Show was a resounding success for exhibitors, attendees, and the local tourism industry. For this year’s show, we invested in new amenities, transportation options and exhibit space, and our approximately 100,000 guests embraced those upgrades just as we’d hoped they would,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the organizers of the Boat Show. “Our guests and our exhibitors continue to be thrilled with this waterfront venue, and we are, too – it’s clearly a natural fit to host the Miami International Boat Show and we’re already looking forward to welcoming guests back to the Marine Stadium site in 2018.”

“This year’s show was a big success for us, bringing out a lot of attendees who were ready to buy. We sold more boats this year than previous years and are already excited about 2018,” noted Patrick Turner from Catalina Yachts, based in Largo, Florida.

2017 show upgrades began with transportation to and from the event site at Virginia Key, keeping traffic flowing smoothly on Rickenbacker Causeway and providing a seamless experience for attendees and exhibitors.

The number of water taxis increased by more than 47 percent over 2016 and higher-capacity vessels were used. At the same time, the number of water taxi pick-up and drop-off locations was streamlined from seven to four to further meet the high demand for water transportation.

The shuttle bus operation was streamlined, as well, from six to five, with one fewer departure location than in 2016, boosting the frequency of trips at all five pick-up locations.

The net result was fewer boat show-related car trips on the Rickenbacker Causeway that connects Virginia Key with the mainland. Overall, Miamians again embraced the boat show’s park & ride model in 2017.

The show counted nearly 90,000 water taxi and shuttle bus riders by attendees who went to or from the show from designated offsite locations.

Special thanks to the police departments of the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County and the leadership of City of Miami Police Chief Rodolfo “Rudy” Llanes and Miami-Dade County Police Chief Juan “Jake” Perez, with support from Alice Bravo, director of transportation and public works for Miami-Dade County, Lt. Jorge Arango, special events, Miami-Dade County, Lt. Carl Manzelli, special events, Miami-Dade County and George Navarro and the Navarro Consulting Group, for their design of an effective maintenance of traffic plan.

Upon arriving at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, boat show attendees experienced several more upgrades:

• an expanded in-water boat display, with 550 boats and yachts located in the show’s 100% temporary, eco-friendly marina in the Marine Stadium Basin;
• an on-water VIP lounge aboard a 111-foot luxury yacht with an exclusive sky deck overlooking the show’s marina and Miami’s skyline; and,
• a completely revamped dining experience by Great Performances, which operates concessions programs at world-class events such as the Miami Open, and featured local favorites, such as The Knife Steakhouse, Latin Café, and Sushi Maki

“We learned important lessons as it relates to transportation during last year’s show, and the resulting adjustments we made for the 2017 event not only made it easier for our guests to get to and from the show, but ensured we again kept traffic flowing smoothly on Virginia Key,” said Ben Wold, manager of the Miami International Boat Show. “The vast majority of show-goers took advantage of our upgraded park & ride system, and we’re particularly pleased with how well the water taxi system worked this year. At a time when Miami-Dade County is looking for mass transit solutions, the Boat Show is setting a great example for what can be done.”

The 2017 Boat Show also continued its decades-long track record of protecting and respecting the environment, using 100% EPA-approved and fully-encapsulated temporary floating docks that kept marine basin waters clean. Once again, no negative environmental issues or onsite incidents were reported during the event, with support from four City of Miami Police Marine Patrol boats which monitored in-water boat show traffic 24/7 throughout the show.

“This year’s Miami International Boat Show put us on a very positive track. Attendee traffic appeared to be up, and buyers were very interested. Many of our builder partners provided early reports that it’s been the best Miami Show ever,” noted Brad Leatherman from Yamaha Motor Company based in Kennesaw, Georgia.

“We saw huge improvement in all areas of the show compared to last year. We had a tremendous show and are already looking forward to expanding our display next year,” said Ty Hare from Pursuit Boats based in Fort Pierce, Florida.

The show team is already booking space for 2018, and capturing new learnings from this year’s event.

“As we’ve done for 76 years, we’re constantly tweaking elements of the show to ensure we provide a world-class experience for our guests and exhibitors, as well as the community,” noted Wold. “We’re already making plans for things like improved lighting and air conditioning in the tents, ongoing enhancements to the transportation plan, and working with exhibitors to create even more exciting displays.”

Wold continued, “Boating is integral to the Florida lifestyle and, on behalf of the U.S. recreational boating industry, we thank the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County and the entire Miami community for their help in delivering another successful boat show.”

The 2018 Miami International Boat Show will be held at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, February 15-19, 2018.


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